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PIA to resu

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) will resume flight operations to and from United Kingdom from August 14, said a spokesperson of nation flag carrier Abdullah Khan on Wednesday.

The first flight PK9702 will carry more than 250 passengers from Manchester to Islamabad and the next flight PK9785 will airlift passengers from Islamabad to London are scheduled for August 14 and 15 respectively.

The PIA has made an agreement with a Portugal based airline for an alternative arrangement in which an airbus A-330 with a capacity of more than 300 seats would be used during the operation while it would prominently display PIA’s slot and call sign.

The spokesperson maintained the carrier would comply all standard operating procedures (SOPs) of Cvoid-19 and accommodate low number of passengers against the actual capacity for safety of travellers and crew members against the infection.

He apprised special preference would be given to passengers of Pakistani origins settled in sizable number at UK in provision of tickets to economy and business classes of the flights.

According to details of the reservation, seats of first flight have been fully booked while the process is ongoing for the flight from Islamabad to London. The national carrier has offered each passenger 45 kilogramme luggage allowance along with other essential facilities.

“PIA intended to increase flight operation in the coming days in view of the demand for additional flights between the two countries,” said the spokesperson.

Pakistan on March 21 suspended all international flights for two weeks to limit the spread of coronavirus. Later, the government extended the suspension of international and domestic flight operations till April 30 in line with the national strategy to stem the spread of novel coronavirus. However, during that period, the PIA operated relief flights to repatriate stranded Pakistanis.

Meanwhile, European Union Air Safety Agency on June 30 suspended authorization for Pakistan’s national airline to operate in the EU for six months days after the minister announced grounding of 262 Pakistani pilots over ‘dubious’ licenses.

On July 10, the United States also imposed a ban on flights of the national flag carrier for six months citing dubious pilots’ licenses.